The Oberheim OB-Xa

The Oberheim OB-Xa is a polyphonic analog synthesizer that was first introduced in 1980. It was designed as a successor to the OB-X and was considered to be one of the most powerful and advanced synthesizers of its time.

The OB-Xa features a 61-note keyboard and is capable of producing up to eight voices of polyphony. It includes two oscillators per voice, a 4-pole low-pass filter with resonance, and a variety of modulation options. The synthesizer also features a sophisticated arpeggiator and a programmable digital sequencer.

One of the standout features of the OB-Xa is its “X-Mod” feature, which allows for complex cross-modulation between the oscillators, resulting in a wide range of unique and complex timbres. The synthesizer also features a “Master Tune” knob that can be used to detune the oscillators, creating rich and lush pads and textures.

The OB-Xa’s sound is often described as powerful and warm, with a distinctive character that is unique to Oberheim synthesizers. Its analog circuitry gives it a classic and vintage sound that is popular among musicians and producers.

The OB-Xa has been used by many notable musicians, particularly in the genres of synth-pop, new wave, and electronic music. It was known for its versatility and expressive sound, and its advanced features made it a favorite among musicians looking to push the boundaries of electronic music.

Today, the OB-Xa remains a sought-after instrument among vintage synthesizer enthusiasts and has been emulated in software synthesizers and hardware clones. Its powerful and expressive sound continues to inspire musicians and producers around the world.

The Oberheim OB-Xa was a popular synthesizer during the 1980s and was used by many notable musicians in various genres. Here are a few examples of popular artists who used the OB-Xa in their music:

  1. Prince – The OB-Xa was used on many of Prince’s recordings in the 1980s, including “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain”.
  2. Van Halen – The OB-Xa was used on Van Halen’s album “1984” on the song “Jump”.
  3. Jean-Michel Jarre – The OB-Xa was a staple in Jarre’s synthesizer-heavy compositions, including his albums “Magnetic Fields” and “Zoolook”.
  4. Rush – The OB-Xa was used on Rush’s album “Signals” on the song “Subdivisions”.
  5. Depeche Mode – The OB-Xa was used on Depeche Mode’s album “Construction Time Again” on the song “Love, in Itself”.

These are just a few examples of the many artists who used the Oberheim OB-Xa in their music during the 1980s. The synthesizer’s rich and warm analog sound, as well as its advanced features and cross-modulation capabilities, made it a popular choice for many musicians at the time. Its influence can still be heard in modern electronic music and its reputation as a classic vintage synthesizer remains strong today.